Rice County gifted students visited Sterling College

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sterling College educational psychology students spent Monday, Oct. 28, guiding third through sixth grade Rice County gifted students through a day of activities related to “The Swiss Family Robinson,” by Johann David Wys. The gifted students were accompanied by Pam Simpson, the Rice County gifted and talented coordinator.

The gifted students took a field trip to further study plants, animals and survival. The students spent the morning at Hedrick’s Exotic Animal Farm in Nickerson, Kan., before coming to the Sterling College Heritage Outdoor Learning Lab and Garden. At Sterling College, they students met up with Spencer Wagley, assistant professor of education, and his educational psychology students.

“The Rice County students got to interact with Dr. Wai-Foong Hong and Dr. Jonathan Conard, who spoke about different types of plants that the characters from ‘The Swiss Family Robinson’ could have used for survival,” said Wagley.

Sterling College educational psychology students will begin a case study that involves one of the gifted students that they worked with during the event.

“The educational psychology students will continue to observe the student for an additional 12 hours and write about their observations. It is great way for educational psychology students to see the child development theories in action,” said Wagley.

“In our case study, we’ll observe one of these gifted students in a normal classroom setting. Then we’ll observe the student again outside of a normal classroom and in the gifted program. One observation I’ve already had is that even though there were third through sixth graders, Ms. Simpson didn’t have to change her words for the younger students to understand. Other than the height differences, I didn’t really notice an age gap,” said Kadi Smith, senior.

After eating lunch with the gifted students, the Sterling College students watched as the gifted students tested their homemade boats. The boats were made out of everyday items such as Pringles cans, boxes, foil, sticks and duct tape.

Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kan., with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. For more information, visit www.sterling.edu.

CUTLINE: While standing in the Sterling College Heritage Outdoor Learning Lab and Garden on Monday, Oct. 28, Dr. Jonathan Conard, assistant professor of biology, teaches Rice County third through sixth grade gifted students about plants that can be used for survival. After studying “The Swiss Family Robinson,” by Johann David Wys, the gifted students spent the afternoon at Sterling College accompanied by Spencer Wagley’s educational psychology students, who will continue to observe these gifted students as a requirement for the educational psychology class.